Court hears man suffered multiple stab wounds and punctured lung during 'arranged fight'

Court hears man suffered multiple stab wounds and punctured lung during 'arranged fight'

A COURT has heard an "arranged fight" in which a man was stabbed several times and suffered a punctured lung in Newtownards was set up through social media.

Details emerged at Newtownards Magistrates Court where Roben Johnston had a bail application refused.

The 22-year-old defendant - with an address listed as High Street in Comber - appeared at court via a video link from custody where he had been on remand for a number of weeks.

He is charged with grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing "two knives" as offensive weapons with intent to commit grievous bodily harm on October 30 this year.

A police officer told the court around 9.30pm on Saturday October 30 police received a report from members of the public of males fighting at Mill Street in Newtownards and "knives" had been spotted.

A man was found with "multiple" stab wounds.

The officer said he had five stab wounds to his back and shoulder areas and a punctured lung.

The defendant was later found nearby and a "blood-stained knife" was recovered.

The police officer said the defendant claimed he and the victim had "arranged to meet for a fight".

The court heard the defendant said he thought he might have stabbed the man three or four times but it could have been more due to "adrenaline".

The defendant alleged to police the injured man had a Stanley Knife and that he was injured as he tried to disarm the man.

Johnston further claimed that during the incident he "searched for anything he could find" in his own jacket and he found a knife in his pocket.

The officer said Johnston alleged he "didn't know" he had a knife on him but the defendant said it must have been there in connection with farming of vegetables.

The officer objected to bail saying there was a concern about "further offences".

She said the defendant had 56 previous convictions including for threats to kill; and carrying offensive weapons "including axes, sledgehammers...knives".

A defence lawyer said the Newtownards meet-up had been "arranged by social media" and "alcohol was involved".

District Judge Mark Hamill said the defendant had four previous entries for possessing weapons and he is now charged with possessing an offensive weapon and grievous bodily harm with intent.

He refused bail and said: "There's the moral of the story ... have a history of arming yourself with a knife you undermine any solicitor trying to make an application for bail when you are charged with possession of a knife".